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Using insights, examples, methods, and/or arguments from at least three sources from the course so far, perform a functional analysis of some aspect of your own life. Of the three sources you use, only one of them can be a film we have viewed for this course, and all of them must come from units 3, 4, 5, and/or 6. Note that you may use more than three sources from this course, but make sure that at least three of the sources meet these requirements. In other words, you can also incorporate sources from units 1 and 2 so long as you also cite three sources that come from units 3, 4, 5, and/or 6.
Remember what a functional analysis is? It’s an approach to the study of culture premised on the idea that every aspect of a culture is a function of every other aspect of that culture. This means that all aspects of a culture are interconnected and that changes in one area of a culture will trigger changes elsewhere in that culture. For example, changes in attitudes towards same-sex relationships eventually helped shift federal law in the United States so that same-sex marriages became reconginzed in all fifty states.
For example:
You could discuss the relationship between the economy and your experience of gender and gender roles; you could consider the material causes of conflicts you have experienced and analyze these conflicts using the needs/wants framework; you could think about the way that languages you speak shape and/or are shaped by aspects of the culture you live with; or you could contrast an aspect of your own cultural worldview with an aspect of one of the cultures we have encountered in this class and think about the implications and/or reasons for perceived differences or unexpected similarities (for example, you could think about the meaning of virginity in your own culture and that of the Sudan). These are just examples to get you thinking – you are welcome to use them as starting points or come up with your own.
Use specific examples from course sources. Cite written sources using the last name of the author and relevant page number of the article. For example: (Hayes, 619). Cite film sources by simply noting the name of the film.
Remember to perform this analysis with the understanding that “culture” is a process, not a thing. This means that in your analysis, you will almost certainly have to engage with issues of power.
Please note that this assignment is not asking you to write a sentimental essay about how much you are growing as a person. Rather, you are being asked to use the insights from the course readings to look more deeply into some aspect of your own everyday cultural experiences.


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